The Radford Racing School/Metal Works sponsored No. 23 of Jace Denmark led the lone Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship practice in Toronto Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

The first session on the 1.786-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit in three years, a 30-minute Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship practice, got underway a couple of minutes late, just after 8 am.

There was thrash to complete the 1.786-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit, but it was ready for action after a long night of work. Unfortunately, for the youngest drivers on the Road To Indy, the track had just been washed, so it was a little damp for the start of their session.

When the session got the green flag at 8:10 am, the sun shone brightly, the ambient temperature was a comfortable 67F, and the track temperature was 74F.

There were a few changes to the entry list, with two drivers – Jackson Lee (Cape Motorsports) and Viktor Andersson (Velocity Racing Development) – not in attendance. Nicholas d’Orlando was also on the entry list with Velocity Racing Development but will be racing in Toronto with the Canadian team Exclusive Autosport.

While on his second lap, Frederik Lund, who was making his first appearance since St. Pete, tagged the wall with his right rear at the exit of the final turn. The No. 7 Jay Howard Driver Development machine was able to continue, and the crew got him on track to complete ten laps.

Championship contenders Michael d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports), Jace Denmark (Pabst Racing), and leader Myles Rowe (Pabst Racing) were the quickest drivers in the first half of the session.

After 15 of 30 minutes, Denmark was the quickest of the group and was followed within a half-second by Rowe, Bijoy Garg (DEForce Racing), d’Orlando, and Christian Weir (Turn 3 Motorsport).

Weir was the first driver to get under the 75-second lap mark but was quickly joined by Denmark and Rowe.

With five minutes remaining, two drivers had incidents. The first was the No. 11 of Dylan Christie lost his front wing but was able to continue. The second was the quickest driver of the session; Denmark tagged the wall with the left rear, coming to a stop near the entrance to pit lane.

Denmark’s incident brought out the red and checkered flag.

Cooper Tire Grand Prix of Toronto practice results.

1 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 1:14.2457 1:14.2457 18
2 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 1:14.2810 0.0353 18
3 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 1:14.9107 0.6650 16
4 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 1:14.9229 0.6772 16
5 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 1:14.9355 0.6898 16
6 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 1:15.0203 0.7746 19
7 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 1:15.1335 0.8878 19
8 6 Evagoras Papasavvas Jay Howard Driver Development 1:15.2061 0.9604 18
9 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 1:15.4500 1.2043 17
10 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 1:15.5334 1.2877 18
11 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 1:15.8682 1.6225 18
12 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 1:15.9859 1.7402 16
13 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 1:16.1755 1.9298 11
14 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 1:16.2743 2.0286 17
15 7 Frederik Lund Jay Howard Driver Development 1:17.3999 3.1542 10
16 91 Nicholas d’Orlando Exclusive Autosport –.—

The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship drivers are back on track at 12:35 pm for the first of their two qualifying sessions.